“……For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Paul, the Apostle
What did you see to be achievable as your set goals and targets for 2013? Or did you just concentrate on the ‘pain of the now’ in 2013 and lost focus of the blessing in the ‘pain of the now’? There is no way you can get to the end you never envisaged. Successful people begin their day, week, month and year with the end in mind. This is a vital lifestyle for anyone who wants to see a better life. Like Stephen Covey said in his book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.”
The beauty of the end is so powerful that it dissolves the pains of the moment. It is the beauty of the end that gives us the strength not to give up now. This is important to consider especially if you consider yourself to be a visionary and you believe God for a greater 2014. Even, the Holy Book admonishes us to wait for the vision while it tarries; yet as we wait, we still keep working as if the vision is there already with you. You do not work as one who has lost hope but from your work people will get to know that you are so much in love with what you see coming at the end. It becomes an inspiration to them. Though your beginning may be small but there is an assurance that your later end shall greatly increase. So, if that is God’s promise to us, how should we conduct ourselves as we approach 2014?
I think we should approach the coming year firstly by putting away every distraction from the mistakes and the failure of this soon to end year, especially for those of my friends out there who hoped for great exploits but could not achieve them all. Our approach should be one of high expectation that the vision will speak at the end. By this we work daily knowing that though there may not be any sign of success today, we know deep inside that the end is greater. He says “your later shall be greater than your past.” So, instead of focusing on the smallness of your beginning, focus on your future which shall be greater.
A typical scenario of leading by example is seen in the life of the greatest leader that has ever lived. Jesus, the Christ in His days here on earth had this testimony that “for the joy that was set before Him, He endured the pain and despised the same and took the cross and is now sat down at the right hand of God.” Simply put if Jesus did not focus on the vision and finishing the assignment, He would not have had the privilege of sitting down on equal authority with God, the Father. Knowing fully well what glory awaited Him, he refused to give up or give in to the pain and discouragement that came His way. And the foregoing statement before that encouraged us to emulate Christ’s lifestyle of beginning with the end in mind.
If you want to make it in 2014, you must adopt the same disposition where your focus is on the end and not all the troubles and trials of today. After all, if you give up now, it wouldn’t have worth even trying at all. It is better you get to the end and not winning, rather than quitting on the way. However, because God is not going to leave you all by yourself, I am of utmost assurance that you will reach the end of your goal if you begin the year with the end in mind. If you can see the end, what you face in-between the start and the end does not matter much any longer because you know where you are going.
There is just one secret to doing this that I want to share with you today. It is “Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.” There is nothing more that I can say to you than that.
Prayer: May God give you the ability to endure the cross and despise the shame until you win in 2014 in Jesus name, Amen.